It’s not easy for anyone to find our deep place when our lives are cluttered and busy. It requires to become still and quiet, focusing on making commitment to oneself – putting oneself at the top of the to-do list. There are no slogans and no short-cuts. Finding your purpose is a process of getting to know oneself fully.
If you’re in your 20s or 30s, fulfilment often means returning to deep sources of satisfaction that you may have had a glimpse of many years ago. At that earlier time, you may have lacked the courage to follow the call, or you may have allowed life’s stresses and serious pursuits to cover up the glimmer of what we knew to be true.
You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.
— Woodrow Wilson
In industrialized countries, 21-st century culture has become obsessed with accumulating just for the sake of accumulating; information, goods, material objects, and more. Many believe that the only way to have what we want is to work hard and long. But, no, that is not the way it works.
Be who you are first. When you focus on being, this lets you do what you want, which lets you have what you need. You need to allow yourself to be first; the rest will follow. Discovering your life purpose focuses your attention on the essence of who you are – your be-ing.
LOSS OF ALIGNMENT
Loss of alignment occurs when, for whatever reason, we begin to pursue the wrong end. This process begins innocently enough. In pursuing some justifiable end, we make a trade-off of some kind. We know it is wrong, but we rationalize our choice. We use the end to justify the means.
As time passes, something inside us starts to wither. We are forced to live at the cognitive level, the rational, goal-seeking level. We lose our vitality and begin to work from sheer discipline. Our energy is not naturally replenished and we experience no joy in what we do. We are experiencing slow death…
We must recognize the lies we have been telling ourselves. We must acknowledge our own weaknesses, greed, insensitivity and lack of vision and courage. If we do so, we begin to understand the clear need for course correction, and we slowly begin to reinvent our self.
EXAMINE PAST EXPERIENCES TO DISCOVER LIFE PURPOSE
Your purpose is your compelling reason for living. It gives meaning to your work and life and guides your choices.
Working with past experience is a way of discovering personal strengths and patterns. If you want to change your career, make a list of your best successes and then examine these to identify the skills and resources you have learned to use effectively.
Your purpose statement is unique. Whether or not they you conscious of it, you have already been living out your purpose in some way. Because of this, plug your past to find your purpose.
List a dozen or more examples of times in your life when you knew you were on purpose. That is, you had an intuitive sense of being aligned with the exact reasons why you are in this world. You may have amazing childhood experiences related to purpose, perhaps because they occur prior to when analytical thought is possible. Make sure the examples span the entirety of your life, including two or three from each decade.
Write briefly about each of these examples. For each of the experiences you listed, write a few bullet points, phrases, or sentences about the experience. Include what you did, where you were, what the outcome was, and how you felt. Your writing should also answer these questions:
– What was essential to my sense of being on purpose?
– What about this experience was richly satisfying?
– What was of value for me?
Highlight key words and phrases, then copy them onto a separate page. Examine them to identify commonalities and themes. You will use these words and phrases to build your statement of purpose.
Draft a brief statement of your life purpose in two to four sentences using the key words and phrases of your life. Because every person has a unique purpose, no one else’s statement will fit your. To refine your purpose are tuning forks that resonate together when you are in sync with each other.
Test your purpose. A good purpose statement pulls you toward it. It engenders energy – like the wind in your sails. You know where you are headed when your purpose is clear. It is a powerful step toward manifesting it and creating a fulfilling life. Does your statement clarify what you will do in your work and in your life?
– You feel a strong connection with the purpose you have described.
– You have a desire to fulfill it.
– You feel deep pleasure when you act in concert with it.
– Your interests naturally gravitate toward fulfilling it.
ARE YOU A HUMAN DOING OR A HUMAN BEING?
When you have lost track and your are living off purpose, your life feels less fulfilling. When you have chosen work or a way of life that is not fulfilling, it is because you have lost sight of your purpose. You have become a human doing instead of a human being.
You may seem to have lost your way in life. If you were a boat, you lacked a rudder and you adrift in a sea of circumstances. You may feel as if you are surviving, but only with struggle, or you may be striving to achieve but do not feel much satisfaction in your accomplishments.
A rich purpose statement should, in fact, be big and inclusive, enough to compel you to expand. When you are on purpose, you live from your being, your core self.